Under the Color of Law (Kevin Kerney Series #6)

Under the Color of Law (Kevin Kerney Series #6)

3.5 11
by Michael McGarrity
     
 

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In Under the Color of Law, Kevin Kerny is back in Santa Fe, newly installed as police chief, when a U.S. ambassador's estranged wife is found murdered in her multimillion-dollar home. Before he can mount a proper investigation, an FBI anti-terrorism team arrives, takes control of the inquiry, and forces Kerney to watch from the sidelines as the crime scene isSee more details below

Overview

In Under the Color of Law, Kevin Kerny is back in Santa Fe, newly installed as police chief, when a U.S. ambassador's estranged wife is found murdered in her multimillion-dollar home. Before he can mount a proper investigation, an FBI anti-terrorism team arrives, takes control of the inquiry, and forces Kerney to watch from the sidelines as the crime scene is sanitized, potential witnesses disappear, and the case is cleared with trumped-up evidence.

Warned off, put under surveillance, and threatened with reprisals under the rubric of national security, Kerney balks at accepting the whitewash and begins a soft probe that points to a covert intelligence cover-up with tendrils stretching from every known government spy shop and running deep into the South American jungles.

Convinced that unscrupulous government agents are acting illegally under the color of the law, Kerney begins his own clandestine hunt for a hard target that will lead him to the truth about the Terrell homicide, knowing full well he might not survive the chase.

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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
This entry in McGarrity's well-realized Kevin Kerney series (following Judas Judge) features a strong, likable protagonist who is now, after holding a variety of law enforcement assignments, Santa Fe's new police chief. As in all of McGarrity's books, the New Mexico setting, this time primarily within the city of Santa Fe, is as much a presence as the supporting characters, who are all intriguing and believable. It all begins with the murder of the estranged wife of an ambassador-at-large, a crime that brings in federal operatives concerned about national security issues. A second, seemingly unconnected murder of a visiting priest-scholar eventually reveals to Kerney and his detectives that there is far more to both killings than the feds are letting on. Deftly weaving the hunt for the solution to these murders with Kerney's adjustment to his new position and his long-distance relationship with his pregnant wife, McGarrity has written a good, stand-alone mystery and added another solid chapter to a wonderful mystery series. Highly recommended. Ann Forister, Roseville P.L., CA Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
About the only law-enforcement job Kevin Kerney (ex—sheriff's lieutenant, ex—Forest Service, ex—New Mexico State Police) hasn't held yet is Chief of the Santa Fe Police Department, and that's where this sixth case finds him. But before he can even get the normal trials of new leadership—reallocating funds, cutting deadwood, learning the political ropes—out of the way, he hits the ground running with the murder of Phyllis Terrell, the defiantly promiscuous estranged wife of a powerful US ambassador without portfolio. In minutes, it seems, an FBI task force is all over the case, and in the time it takes Kerney to question Phyllis's Mexican landscaper and turn him loose, task force head Charlie Perry has wrapped up the case. As Perry smugly tells Kerney, Scott Gatlin, who managed the ranch of Phyllis's wealthy father and warmed her bed along with dozens of others, has shot himself after obligingly leaving behind a full confession. This neat solution is chilling news, since it strongly suggests a government cover-up whose tentacles reach high and deep. Digging into the apparently unrelated killing of a Marymount priest, Kerney and a pair of trusted cops trace a nefarious plot that extends from legal maneuvering—wiretaps, disinformation, court orders to turn over evidence—to murder by government decree. McGarrity (The Judas Judge, 2000, etc.) is just the writer to keep the high-octane conspiracy clear, even though individual victims don't have time to leave much of an impression. Kerney's mind-boggling look at your tax dollars at work is his finest hour yet.
From the Publisher
"McGarrity gets better and better." —Tony Hillerman

"One of the most chilling and satisfying thrillers of the year." —Los Angeles Times

"In mixing thriller with mystery, McGarrity has struck gold." —Houston Chronicle

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780525946045
Publisher:
Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date:
07/05/2001
Series:
Kevin Kerney Series, #6
Pages:
320
Product dimensions:
6.30(w) x 9.34(h) x 1.22(d)

What People are saying about this

From the Publisher
"McGarrity gets better and better." —Tony Hillerman

"One of the most chilling and satisfying thrillers of the year." —Los Angeles Times

"In mixing thriller with mystery, McGarrity has struck gold." —Houston Chronicle

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